Avs at Oilers G9/07-08: Sail On, Banff Blazer

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94 Responses to "Avs at Oilers G9/07-08: Sail On, Banff Blazer"

  1. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Dear Jebus,

    I know I do a lot of things that make you mad. I do and say things that aren’t nice sometimes, like this morning, when I gave that dink in the BMW the finger when he cut me off, may he rot in hell. But I promise that I’ll never do another bad thing ever, if you can find it in your heart to grant the Oilers just one powerplay goal tonight.

    And I know that if your friends, the Hockey Gods, have any sense of justice, then the aforementioned Banff Blazer will have a 4 goal night tonight. However, I’d like to humbly submit that the same Hockey Gods have been laying a huge, multi-coiled deuce on this hockey team for the past 17 months. So if he must have 4 goals, can you find it in your heart to give the Oil a 7-4 win?


  2. Dennis says:

    I just can’t imagine what it’s going to be like to see Smyth on the other side. No, the guy wasn’t one of those counting stats superstars but by now, those with a clue know his value and those without are the same ones who didn’t want to stay in bed for three days after Souray was signed;)

    I don’t know how long it’s going to take, if at all, before I can learn to cheer against him. I think he was totally justified in his stance of wanting to get truly paid as an Oiler and I think that along the way Kevin Lowe lost his mind and couldn’t see the big picture.

  3. PunjabiOil says:

    It’s been 9 months and I still can’t get over the fact that Kevin ripped the heart out of the city.

  4. mike w says:

    I hope Smytty gets a hat trick. Better him than Paul Stastny.

  5. Black Dog says:

    Go ye olde Oiler!

    Positive note that they are planning a tribute to him.

  6. dubya says:

    Hope he gets a great reception, just like Smith.

    I’m not really convinced he wanted to stay, to be honest, and I’m not sure it wasn’t time for a change. Not sure the changes were the right ones. Great player, though, we sure could use him now. Hopefully Penner takes notes and develops half the heart Smytty has.

  7. godot10 says:

    //It’s been 9 months and I still can’t get over the fact that Kevin ripped the heart out of the city.//

    Smyth was never ever going to sign with the Oilers. In the end, Kevin gave him his number and he still said no.

  8. NBOilerFan says:

    //Smyth was never ever going to sign with the Oilers. In the end, Kevin gave him his number and he still said no.//

    How can you say that Smyth was “never ever” going to sign?

    My understaning from all that came out was that Smyth had given Lowe his number (27.5 over 5yrs).

    Lowe kept making low ball offers slowely raising them, then at the final hour (or minutes) came out and offered Smyth the $27 over 5yrs). Smyth stuck to his number (assuming Lowe would come up the extra $100,000 per year but Lowe was pissed that Smyth wouldn’t budge so he made the deal.

    To me, the fact that Lowe just didn’t match Smyth number is disrespectful. How do you offer $5.4/yr and then not go to $5.5/yr.

    I think this was more the fact that Lowe hated to give in to Smyth’s set number. It was purely a pride issue, IMO. One which he now regrets. He thought he could get a better upgrade for $5.5/yr via UFA…. which he was gravely mistaken.

  9. danny says:

    Pitkanen out at least a couple weeks… Ridiculous. So far this season, the whole 5 games into it, the Oilers have managed to lose Pisani, Moreau, Souray and Pitkanen for extended periods.

    Off the heels of last season, you have to wonder when will the injury parade ever end?

  10. PunjabiOil says:

    I think it was also from the Hot Stove panel from HNIC (surprise, surprise, Edmonton media caught napping) that mentioned the Oilers had asked Smyth to purchase a luxury suite at $100,000/year.

    Making your top player fight for every last penny.

    Tisk tisk.

  11. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Haven’t been able to find anything on the Pitkanen injury… what’d he do? Anyone?

  12. NBOilerFan says:

    This as per Dan Tencer’s blog…

    “Joni Pitkanen has an appointment with the team doctor later this afternoon. It’s a knee injury that will keep him out of the lineup for at least a couple of weeks. In his absence, Mathieu Roy draws in; with Souray also injured this leaves the Oilers with no spare defenseman. It seems likely that Ladislav Smid will be called up to join the team; rumblings are that it could happen this afternoon or after the game tonight.”

  13. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Thanks NB.

  14. Dennis says:

    If you want to talk about hockey gods , then Lowe deserves absolutely zero breaks after the way he fucked the Pronger and Smyth decisions.

  15. mike w says:

    Smyth was never ever going to sign with the Oilers.

    Sadly, this is what a lot Oil fans keep telling themselves so they can sleep better at night.

  16. namflashback says:

    The player’s worth and value questions aside, it is a negotiation process. While Lowe underestimated:

    - Negotiating it early
    - Ryan having a wonderful 06-07 campaign (please also recall the analysis on these blogs that recounted that he was cheating up on the breakout)
    - The cap increase (duh!)

    Smyth and Meehan’s leverage was always going to be better closer to the trade deadline, and indeed would have wielded the sledgehammer if it went past the deadline.

    Negotiation is a complex dance. Takes two to tango.

    Love the player, would love him better in an Oil drop uniform.

    Negotiation is give and take. And this one had two parties, one who had a right to be stubborn, and the other one who just is stubborn.

    BDHS speculates on his blog that this “evaluation” of Smyth was done very early. I agree — and Lowe continued on till the stubborn end.

  17. Bruce says:

    Smyth’s number

    The story as I heard it was that Smyth offered to make up the $100,000 difference by using it to buy the luxury suite. One thinks such a compromise would have been great PR from both sides … imagine K-Lowe at the mic during the Messier retirement ceremony announcing the deal?

    It would seem that nine months later many fans have not forgiven the Oilers for this — I know I haven’t. By one measure we got Robert Nilsson, Ryan O’Marra and Alex Plante, all of whom sport major question marks and none of whom are showing me the next Face of the Oilers. (I guess we did better than the Islanders, who gave up those three guys AND Smyth.) By another measure, the Follow the Money Theory, we got Dustin Penner and an exchange of “assets” (the three prospects named above for three picks) that could really bite if we lose a lottery ticket next spring.

    And we still have this disconnect with the organization, and particularly with the departed favourite. Even those who blame Smyth entirely for his “greed” have nonetheless paid a heavy price when it comes to general disillusionment, not dissimilar from that experienced by those who blame the Oilers.

    The site of Captain Canada in a made-in-USA uniform will represent yet another disappointing moment for fans of an organization whose history is littered with such moments.

  18. godot10 says:

    //Smyth was never ever going to sign with the Oilers.//

    “Sadly, this is what a lot Oil fans keep telling themselves so they can sleep better at night.”

    I suppose you believed Gretzky’s tears also.

    Smyth (or more precisely, Meehan) manouvred Smyth out of Edmonton, just like Meehan manouvred Joseph out), and just like Gretzky manouvred himself out of Edmonton.

    If Smyth really wanted to be an Oiler, he would be an Oiler.

    He didn’t.

    Meehan clients go for the money over location (because Meehan doesn’t get a cut of location).

  19. Big T says:

    punjabioil said;

    “I think it was also from the Hot Stove panel from HNIC (surprise, surprise, Edmonton media caught napping) that mentioned the Oilers had asked Smyth to purchase a luxury suite at $100,000/year.

    Making your top player fight for every last penny.

    Tisk tisk.”

    Actually, it was Smyth who came up with the idea that said the Oilers pay him $5.5MM per year and he’d spend $100K on the luxury box.

    Not trying to defend the Oilers on this one, in fact this owuld have been a good comprimise for Lowe to save face, but economically speaking you can ahrdly blame them for not wanting to sell him a box they would have sold anyway.


  20. mike w says:

    I suppose you believed Gretzky’s tears also.

    That’s two hockey players not known for their acting skills that you have accused of false tears.

    You sound delusional.

  21. Slipper says:

    Oh and signing a player like Ryan Smyth to a five year contract at 5.5 million was a big gamble, what with his spotty production and questionable durability. And let’s not forget he was, AT BEST, a fourth liner on Canada’s Oly squad.

    Spending 4.5 million and giving up an entire draft year on a fat guy with 30 career goals was much safer decision.

  22. Bruce says:

    Smyth’s numbers

    In the spring of 1999, Ryan Smyth was coming off a disappointing 31-point season and four-game sweep by the hated Dallas Stars when Hockey Canada threw him a lifeline of an invite to the World Championships. He jumped at the chance and went on to play on the next ten consecutive senior Teams Canada, winning Olympic gold, World Cup gold, and two World Championship gold medals to hang next to his World Junior gold. A large part of his value was his attitude and willingness to accept various roles on the team that were foreign to many of the other “elite players” who invariably made up the team. Smyth’s positive attitude, leadership and versatility were valued highly by every coach that Hockey Canada chose.

    Back in the NHL Smyth raised his game to new levels of consistency, recording between 50 and 70 points for seven consecutive seasons, even while enduring (and invariably returning early from) a variety of injuries sustained by consistently playing in the high traffic areas. An Oilers’ mainstay on the first line and both special teams, Smyth played between 19:12 and 20:13 per game for the Oilers in each of those seven seasons. Pretty elite ice time numbers for a forward, it seems to me.

    Above and beyond those numbers, an Oiler team with Smyth in the line-up was always respectable at minimum, something the club really hasn’t been since the moment he left. Smyth fans in opposing cities (and they are legion) could always count on the Oilers showing up ready to do battle, even if they were outmanned.

    So time to join the legion for this Smyth fan who has effectively been teleported to an opposing city. Even as I will still somewhat reluctantly cheer on the Oilers, I look forward to watching Smytty grind it out tonight, winning more than his share of battles for possession and position, in the slot, in the corners, along the boards, across the bluelines, in all three zones and all three manpower situations. And I will fantasize about the Oilers eventually developing another player with those elite skills, and maybe even having the sense to hang on to him.

  23. ClaytonMagnet says:

    //If you want to talk about hockey gods , then Lowe deserves absolutely zero breaks after the way he fucked the Pronger and Smyth decisions.//

    …or, the Smyth and Pronger eventualities are evidence that the hockey gods hate us. If Lupul had scored 30, and Smid turned into a Beauchemin, and Nilsson and O’Marra were lights out, then it wouldn’t be so bad. But, no, the hockey gods hate us. Just ask Moreau.

  24. PunjabiOil says:

    “Actually, it was Smyth who came up with the idea that said the Oilers pay him $5.5MM per year and he’d spend $100K on the luxury box.


    Is that right?

    Well, that should shed any rumours that Smyth didn’t want to stay here.

    100,000. Damn near unforgivable in GM terms.

  25. Rube Foster says:

    “In Smith and Smyth we have given up our two most consistent in-your-face players who were themselves the Face of the Oilers (Third Millennium Edition), and with Moreau, Pisani and Souray on the shelf, I don’t know where that’s going to come from. Oilers seem to be real short of speedy grinders of the Grier/Marchant/Chimera/Peca type that we always seemed to have in abundance.”

    Bingo Bruce!

    No one in the NHL likes to play against Ryan Smyth, he’s not a big guy but he make you pay a price every shift, he makes you look bad in the corners and he’s a shit disturber around the net – just ask Jiggy. He makes you work your tail off for every inch of ice you take from him. He scores ugly opportunistic goals. He’s infuriating to play against.

    Gators’ many attributes were discussed at length prior to the Phillie game. He was our captain and a rock, an honest hard working rock with the old time hockey ethos of it’s better to hurt your opponent than to let them hurt you.

    The firm of Smith and Smyth were more than the guys on the cover of the media guide; they were the heart and soul of the team. This is an overused and misunderstood term but what it means to me is that if you played on a team with these two guys in your locker room, you ran the risk of embarrassing yourself to your teammates if you didn’t do your best to emulate their effort.

    (ADVISORRY: Repetitive Rant Time) K-Lowe has made a huge mistake in undervaluing what these guys brought to the team. Anyone else notice that something intangible is missing from this year’s edition of the Oil? At the risk of sounding like a broken record the Edmonton Oilers are way too easy to play against these days and unless that gets addressed soon, we’re in for a very long season.

    Did anyone else see the press conference with Smyth yesterday? They asked him about the Oilers and Edmonton and he teared up again! I honestly don’t think he’s a good enough actor to fake that stuff. Say what you want about the fiasco at the trade deadline. Smyth, perhaps despite himself made a shrewd business decision, a 5 million dollar decision. That’s why these guys have agents. I have the feeling that if this was 1952 Smyth would be an Oiler for life; obliviously and happily making the fifth most on the team payroll, tickled pink that management threw a new team jacket his way every couple years.

    This is what I’m curious to find out about tonight. The Oilers have an exceptional video staff. If they do their job and make a tribute video for Smyth that his tenure as an Oiler merits I can’t see how Smyth will keep from weeping like the Cryin’ Ryan we all know and love. After seeing video of the guy scrapping his teeth off the ice, coming back to set up Horc for that overtime winner and all those clips of huge goals he’s scored for us, and then watching him melt into a puddle of glassy eyed tears, well it’s going to be very emotional for everyone. After all that can anyone at Rexall not pull for the guy, even if just for tonight?

    I’m not going to the game tonight, I’ll be watching this one at home. The one thing I think that I’m going to miss most about not being at Rexall is watching the pre-game skate and seeing Smyth be the last of the ‘lanche off the ice, scooping up a mitt full of pucks and tossing them to the kids around the boards as he leaves the ice – the old Bobby Hull ritual. Doan does it Phoenix too, but he doesn’t seem to get the kick out of it that Smyth does.

    With the Messier retirement ceremony taking place the night of the trade deadline last year we never really had a defining moment of closure with Smytty. We never had a chance to say good bye, we never said thank you. If you haven’t guessed, I’m hoping that for this night, for this game it will be a home game for Ryan Smyth. When he scores the crowd is going to go wild.

    Deservedly so.

  26. Lowetide says:

    After the SC run the Edmonton Oilers signed all the people who they considered key to multi-year contracts.

    Ryan Smyth wasn’t one of them. All the rest is interesting but not pertinent to the conversation. Ther Edmonton Oilers kept the players they wanted (CFP aside) and sent the rest away.

    You’re going to have a hard time convincing me otherwise.

  27. danny says:

    I think you’re right LT, but I think it was a case of looking into the crystal ball and seeing a $42M budget, and knowing that the possibility of paying Smyth $5.5M would disable them from signing a bigger difference maker at 6.5 or 7.0M

    Thats before the Katz shit storm of course. Without that we still have a $43.5M budget and no Souray or Penner. I’d be ok without Souray but i doubt theres much better than him thats willing to play in Edmonton. I’m still holding onto Penner though. That draft picks chances of playing on this roster within the next 4 seasons is a stretch, and there comes a point when you need to compete if at all possible.

  28. PDO says:

    LT nailed it.

    The problem is, is all the other factors that make it so much worse…

    #1) The return sucked. It sucked at the time, and now it looks even worse. We made the trade with the wrong team, and we went for quantity instead of quality. No way in hell there should have been GM’s saying “Smyth was available?” on deadline day.

    #2) There was no plan to replace him, other than “OUR DOORS ARE OPEN, BABY!”

    #3) We’ll get reminded 8 times a year for the next 5 years that the Oilers made a very poor decision that will hurt this team for years.

  29. Ribs says:

    Ryan Smyth? Who’s he?

    I’m over it.

    In the end it will be for the betterment of the team. Having the entire offensive strategy rely on Smyth tipping in shots from the point was getting very old and less effective with every defenseman that went down. Not a very solid gameplan.

    This team has needed a youth movement for a long time and I’m not about to complain now that it looks like it has arrived.

    Smytty, nice to know ya. So long.

  30. Dennis says:

    It’s pretty disgusting that the NHL wouldn’t give Lowe all the necessary info to take a guess at the ’08 cap.

    The NHL is always fucking over the Oilers.

  31. godot10 says:

    //After the SC run the Edmonton Oilers signed all the people who they considered key to multi-year contracts.//

    They were UFA’s and RFA’s…of course, they would sign them first.

    Moreau and Staios were signed, because they came with big discounts.

    Smith had two years on his contract. Smyth had one year on his contract.

    Smyth proclaimed no discount (his right, I have no problem with that), which meant he was going to be last, and which meant it would go to the last possible moment. Lowe finally went to Smyth’s number, and it turned out Smyth’s number wasn’t a real number (they turned down what they asked for), because they were going to ask for more after the trade deadline, when they really had Lowe over the barrel.

  32. Rube Foster says:

    Agreed LT.

    However the numbers don’t lie, or do they from time to time?

    Look, we were a mess a without Pronger in 2007 and the team was “funny” all year long but at the trading deadline last year we really weren’t that far removed from a typical Oiler season -scrapping like hell to make eighth spot. At the same juncture in 2006 we decided we were a buyer not seller and look what happened. Agreed, it was a different team last year but with a very similar result to the 2006 squad up the trade deadline.

    The numbers that scream loudest is the Oilers record post Try’n Ryan. I know we’ve had an unbelievably rotten run of luck since the trade but you can’t convince me the team record could be worse than what 3 wins vs 25 losses sans Smytty?

  33. PDO says:

    Calling Staios and Moreau market value is fair… but a big discount? Especially considering they both got 4 year extensions?

    That’s a little extreme.

  34. Ribs says:

    Speaking of the Smyth trade…. why the heck has O’Marra been reassigned to Stockton?

  35. Lowetide says:

    O’Marra is probably on a re-hab to Stockton, that would be my guess.

    I think it’s important to look at the Smyth non-signing in the longer view here. I understand the venom (I put a hole in the wall the day Messier was traded) in regard to the Smyth non-signing but the fact is this wasn’t a one year deal it was multi-year. I don’t agree with the fact they didn’t sign Smyth but imo you have to look at his age and injury history plus the fact that in G7 SCF he was in fact not the best player on the ice.

    Those are facts. You may not like them, but there they are. I feel no need to defend the Penner or Souray signing since in fact I didn’t like them at the time.

    But I will say that the return for 25 games of Smyth was handsome and there is a rush to judgement here that imo has a lot more to do with Smyth’s past than his future.

    Cue the Dennis ‘apologist’ post.

  36. danny says:

    It’s pretty disgusting that the NHL wouldn’t give Lowe all the necessary info to take a guess at the ’08 cap.

    Since when has the NHL cap been the Oilers operating budget? Before Smyth was traded, Laforge was asking the NHL for a $42M cap.

    Lowe had a $42M budget at the time as well, and Katz was but a distant wet dream. We were all Smyth fans and know he is a solid player at $5.5M under a $50M cap, but how many times have we heard of the EIG and their business plans from Lowe?

    Ryan Smyth is a lovely player, but moving forward having him your best player was not the right decision, its too bad the Katz shit storm demanded some loose spending.

  37. PDO says:

    LT, on O’Marra,

    He had two significant injuries last year, the knee injury in the playoffs, and an ankle injury near the beginning of the year.

    Correct? Or am I insane?

  38. Lowetide says:

    PDO: I think he had one more injury in there too. Funny thing though he looked really good to me in the first scrimmage at TC. He was exceptional that day.

  39. Rory Weber says:

    hi my name is Rory Weber I’am years old and live in Stratford Ontario beleive it or not I’m an oilers fan, don’t ask me why I just am. Your blog is really funny.Ok I know my commets are boring so far but keep reading I have a Blog too but thats not important what important is that you do nothing for the Oilers all you care about is money and you don’t take any risks but I bet if you just kept all of our players we might have a team this year sure we have sam ganger but the way how to make money is not to make your fans wait four years until we have a team its to have a good year with fresh players and just wait a second I know what you thinking we wouldn’t have sam gagner and all those rookies if we hadn’t traded ryan and jason because you needed the money to get sam but thats why you take risks stop buyin’ fancy cars and crap if you didn’t do that you could of spent you money on sam and kept you vetrens so when they do make th playoffs and win the stanly cup you will actually have people watching you and your damn “team”

    email:ei@hotmail.com or vist my blog at blogofthewebster.blogspot.com

  40. mike w says:

    Since when has the NHL cap been the Oilers operating budget?

    Because they can afford to spend for it. Or at least very close to it.

    As a fan, why would you want anything less?

    (note: when I say this, do not confuse throwing money away with spending to the cap)

  41. Lowetide says:

    Hi Rory,

    I don’t know what you’re asking me. Are you asking me if I make any money from this site?

    The answer to that would be no.

  42. mc79hockey says:

    I’m not quite sure that I agree that the Katz offer triggered the spending. I’m inclined to think it was the awful last 20 games of 2006-07 that did the trick. The Smyth thing left a bad taste in the mouths of many fans of this team and, combined with an horrific finish, they needed to do something. LaForge and Lowe were trumpeting the changes to come from at least the game in LA where they ignored the play on the ice for 15-20 minutes at a time while they sold tickets.

    Honestly? I think that they just made the wrong decision. I think that they figured he’d cave (take it for what it’s worth, but I’ve also heard, credibly in my view, that he did cave in the end and he told them that the money was off the table – those of you who have “known” me for 4 or 5 years know how often I claim inside info) and they were wrong. That’s why Lowe snapped up the offer that was being cast about by Snow – they hadn’t done their homework in terms of sussing out the market. It was, for 15 games of Ryan Smyth in a year where they weren’t making the playoffs, a fine return to be certain but that doesn’t mean that it was the best return available. The entire thing was botched, because that’s just the way that the Oilers do major hockey operations decisions.

    Lain, you can talk about Smyth’s health all you want – we saw what 5.5MM buys you on the open market and it doesn’t get you a guy of his talent, his durability or his willingness to leave it all on the ice. It gets you Sheldon Shoulder Injury. There isn’t a GM in the world who wouldn’t trade Souray for Smyth straight up, ceteris parabis.

    We all know that if Lowe could do this again, the result would be different. For whatever reason – maybe because Sather got canonized for something that was largely luck – we seem to be doomed to suffer from management that is absolutely shocked and stunned by everything from here to eternity.

    Mark me down as hoping Smyth pops four tonight. I hope that the crowd does well too.

  43. mc79hockey says:

    LT – I checked his link and it appears that young Rory is a 12 year old Oilers fan from Ontario.

  44. mc79hockey says:

    By the way, it should be “They told him that the money was off the table.”

  45. Lowetide says:

    MC: To be clear: I would have signed Ryan Smyth to a multi-year contract. Imo he was more than worth it.

    However, you have to factor in things like health into the equation and I’m sure the Oilers did. imo they decided after the SCF and long before the deadline that he wasn’t going to be an Oiler the next summer.

    The decision making process would have been interesting for them and hindsight being 20/20 (he would have been a bargain the following summer, and imo that wasn’t a tough prediction, and of course the money was not well spent on Penner and Souray) it’s a mess but I don’t think the issue was as simple as it is being framed currently on the blogosphere and in this thread.

  46. Ribs says:

    Yea, LT. Stop buyin all dem’ fancy cars and spend all your money on Sam Gagner hair gel for teens. It has no risk and was invented by my dad who drives a Zamboni machine. Keep all of the veteranarians and you can make the team! Team Hair Gel!

    read my blog now.

  47. mc79hockey says:

    However, you have to factor in things like health into the equation and I’m sure the Oilers did. imo they decided after the SCF and long before the deadline that he wasn’t going to be an Oiler the next summer.

    Do you think that they thoroughly reviewed what they could get for him then? Why were they negotiating up to the deadline? Do you think that they would have traded him if they’d had four more points in the standings?

    I’m not saying that you’re wrong, only that the organization looks far worse on your view of things. At least the widespread view can be explained away by general incompetence, which was followed by shoddy behaviour – your view kind of implies really shoddy behaviour throughout with a touch of incompetence at the end.

  48. Dennis says:

    LT, sometimes it’s enough just to be right about things;)

  49. jon says:

    Should be an interesting game. Don’t feel as sentimental as most here, but hopefully he gets the welcome he deserves.

    For those commenting on the money side of things, it’s important to remember that a contract isn’t binding until it’s signed. With Meehan as Smyth’s agent, I’m somewhat wary of the idea that they would up and sign any contract after it was apparent Smyth was having a career year (at the expense of his linemates, it should be noted). Lowe should have gotten it done before then or taken a stance on the term.

  50. Rube Foster says:

    I think you SHOULD make money on this site. Young Ryan and I will both happily send your our paper route money.

    Cry us a river and get your four goals Mullet Man!

    If Try’n Ryan gets his four goals tonight will the Hockey Gods stop shitting bricks on the Oil?

  51. Lowetide says:

    Dennis: Good on ya. :-)

    MC: Agree it makes the Oilers management group look more inept but it’s the only conclusion that makes sense to me.

    June 30, 2006: Pisani signs.
    July 1, 2006: Roloson signs.
    July 1, 2006: Pronger trade.
    July 4, 2006: Reasoner signs.
    July 6, 2006: Tjarnqvist signs.
    July 10, 2006: Hejda trade.
    July 12, 2006: Horcoff signs.
    July 20, 2006: MacT signs.
    July 21, 2006: Stoll signs.
    July 25, 2006: Hemsky signs.
    August 11, 2006: Sykora signs.
    August 28, 2006: Petersen signs.
    September 13, 2006: Lupul signs.

    They spent a lot of money, and a most of it went to guys who were certain to make less of a difference over 4 years than Ryan Smyth.

    The only answer I can think of is that Smyth didn’t sign because they weren’t interested. A team doesn’t sign the players they plan to retain last.

    They just don’t.

  52. allan says:

    I think young Rory thinks you’re Kevin Lowe. I guess he hasn’t read too much of your recent work.

    I don’t have much to say. I hope that the folks at the Colisseum tonight show some class, but I’m terrified that they won’t.

  53. danny says:

    ouch that was pretty rough to watch.

  54. Rube Foster says:

    Hey Rory,
    I just called you Ryan. That’s a huge compliment on this night.
    That’s the good news Rory. The bad news is that you and I both owe LT a twoonie.

    Ryan cried more than his wife did.

    Lowetide Blogspot Prediction number one – bang on the money. Lets see what happens with the four goals.

  55. Ribs says:

    Grebs.. Meet your new best friend, Pine.

  56. Devin says:

    Jesus Greene – stop watching the f*ing point shot and COVER YOUR DAMN MAN.

  57. Devin says:

    And for the love of… If Raffi gets fined for skating into another player then Finger had better get a fine for that “headshot” on Gagner.

  58. danny says:

    Roloson looks off… bad news.

    Grebeshkov, yeah he def should be in the top 6 over Souray.

    ANyone else see Laperriere tap Roy on the butt after their fight? heh.

  59. Ribs says:

    damn frenchies, hah.

  60. Lowetide says:

    Gagner’s not headed to junior, but I wish Grebeshkov was. He’s poor.

  61. Bruce says:

    Hmmm … Grebeshkov still doesn’t have a giveaway all season, they called that abortion a takeaway by Arnason. I’m with McGuire all the way on that one, though, 37 has looked brutal so far … downright chaotic in fact.

    As for the second goal, blame Greene all you want but I put that one on the goalie. Big fat juicy greasy rebound, a killer seconds after Oil tied it up.

    On the plus side, Penner from Cogliano and Gagner is exactly the sort of thing we need to see. Now if only Hemsky could hit the @#$%^ net.

  62. Lowetide says:

    I like that kid Roy, I’ll tell you that much. Beauty goal by Penner, both the kids looked good.

    This should get ugly by the third period.

  63. Bruce says:

    Now it’s Gilbert and Grebeshkov looking overmanned, and Roli unable to corral the loose puck again. With this defence — with or without Souray and Pitkanen — the goaltending needs to be way sharper than this.

    Cumulative season score after 13 periods:

    Oilers 5, Northwest Division Rivals 18

    This could be a l-o-o-n-g season.

  64. Bruce says:

    I’m watching some of the secondary stuff tonight, the sort of thing that shows up — or doesn’t — in RTSS. Looking at the first period game sheet, Torres had 3 hits, do you remember them? Meanwhile, on the last shift JFJ just clobbered an Av at the Oiler blueline, not only knocked him on his ass but into an offside position allowing Oilers to walk out. Seconds later he threw a decent hit in the far corner, yet at the end of the period he’s just got a blank space under the “Ht” column. What’re these guys looking at?

    Maybe I put more stock in these stats than I should; I don’t expect ‘em to be perfect, but gee whillikers, that’s just wrong.

  65. Rube Foster says:

    Since we’re into the predicition game all of a sudden for a living. I’m going way out on a limb here and saying that true to chaos form, after the worst period by an Oiler D-man this year, which is really saying something, Marc Andre Grebeshkov will score a goal tonight.
    Did JFJ go after the Finger when he got that penalty? If he was maybe he is getting it. Good thing Stortellini isn’t dressed or the Finger might get hugged to death out there.

  66. Lowetide says:

    I think the Oilers are just waiting for the Avs to tire themselves out from all the pointblank shots. Good strategy. Let them have the puck for awhile then they’ll get tired.

  67. Lowetide says:

    Pouliot had a nice shift there.

  68. Devin says:

    Oilers two young guys “Comiglio” and “Gagne”… god I hate the US RSNs. Why couldn’t NHLCI just use the TSN feed?!

  69. Mr DeBakey says:

    Has anyone else noticed that Hughson can’t see Pouliot?

    MAP is having a nice game.

    [it is Hugson?]

  70. Josh says:

    The ‘Q’ kids are having a good night. Actually most of the kids are having a good night, its just I’m used to Gagner and Cogs doing it, but nice to see Jaques and Pouliot doing it tonight. Now where are the vets?

  71. Ribs says:

    That seals it. Gagner is the real deal.

  72. Nelson88 says:

    Man I hope MacT can resist the temptation to screw with the lines after this game. Win or lose this is the best they have played since the beginning of the season!

  73. Ribs says:

    Joni to undergo anthroscopic knee surgery due to cartilage damage in his left knee. Out indefinitely.

    Ouch. That hurts.

  74. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Nice one, Hemmer. LT, I know you’re in love with him, but I still see him do what he’s done since his rookie year – dangle dangle dangle, make everyone look silly, then just hand the puck over to the opposition.

  75. Nelson88 says:

    maybe ales should sit in the pb and watch cogs and gagner play the game. pass 1/2 as much in the last 20 feet in the offensive zone and 5 times as much getting there.

  76. ClaytonMagnet says:

    On a positive note, it was one of the best PP games of the year for the Oil.

  77. Lowetide says:

    Hemsky will be fine. I’m a little worried about Horcoff and Stoll, though.

    Did Horcoff get hurt in the 2nd?

  78. ClaytonMagnet says:

    If he did, he kept playing…he finished with 21+ minutes.

    I hope you’re right about Hemsky. Oilerville has been waiting for him to develop that killer instinct for 4+ years now…

  79. Bank Shot says:

    Perhaps Gagner, Cogliano, and Gilbert should be leading this club in minutes played.

    It certainly couldn’t hurt anything.

  80. RiversQ says:

    Bruce: The RTSS stats are just terrible. Always have been. I tried to rationalize them too for awhile, but it’s just not possible.

    I thought Pouliot looked solid tonight. I cannot see how MacT can justify all of the PB time he has seen. It’s unbelievable.

    As for Smyth, I do agree with LT. Like Tyler though, I don’t see where that leaves the management except high and dry. The Oilers obviously made the wrong choice. It was a terrible move and lots of fans around the Oilogosphere jumped on that from the minute it happened.

    My statement at the time was pretty simple “The Oilers will not get a better player for the same or less money this offseason.” That’s as true now as it was back when the deal was made.

  81. ClaytonMagnet says:

    One thing’s for sure. If Gagner gets sent to London, it will send the exact same statement to this team as trading Smyth did – the season’s over.

  82. ClaytonMagnet says:

    Some nice praise from MacT for Pouliot… I’m with everyone else, he should be playing.

  83. Rube Foster says:

    Despite the lousy result the Oilers played solid entertaining hockey for the last two periods.

    As noted everyone of the “Q kids” played well if not often. This was one of those games where the guys with the points on the score sheet really shined – Penner, Cogs, Gagner and Gilbert.

    I know Penner didn’t play the tough minutes that Cryin’ Ryan did but I think he had a stronger game than Mullet Man tonight. Good for him to rise to the occaison.

    Stoll’s offense has evaporated but he did some good things out there tonight. He’s got a ways to go but he’s moving in the right direction. Lets be realistic, until Stoll finds his offensive game he’s a special teamer and a third liner.

    It’s time to put Smid back in our top four. Staois still looks like he’s a step behind where he was the last couple years. Tarnstrom is the new number one. He had a solid game but that speaks volumes when Dick Tarnstrom is your number one d-man. I bet he wasn’t even the number one d-man on his team in Sweden last year.

    With Joni on the shelf it’s time to acknowledge that we’re officially prepping for a run at the last 40 – 45 games of the season.

    I can live with games like this, you can see a light at the end of the tunnel. If the young guys can keep taking steps like this we might have something by December when the vets get healthy.

  84. Showerhead says:

    Re: the Horcoff “injury”.

    TSN showed a shot partway through the second of him wincing on the bench that neither announcer commented on (perhaps due to its brevity). Near the end of the period Pierre said something to the effect of “Horcoff hasn’t been getting a regular shift” – I believe this was right before the Avs penalty… anyhow what I am saying is that the evidence indeed seems to point to a minor injury that Horcoff ended up playing through.

  85. Dennis says:

    My radar’s been up on 16 for awhile now. Hard to argue with your point about him being a special teams plus soft min guy. And like someone said befoe me, he’s not high event enough to allow all the soft min so hopefully he gets going long enough that we can trade him for a defenseman who can actually defend.

    Some other stuff:

    Jacques: he was hitting but the more he hits, the less useful he is at everything else. I know, I know, it’s not like he’s ever filled the net;), or even dented it for that matter;) but in that Van game with 14-16, he was getting some stuff down but that’s not what they want from him, obviously.

    Pouliot = he really smashed a couple of guys tonight. I’ve mentioned before how he’s a pretty slight fellow, but he was out there using it tonight. Creatively, I think that he knows what to do but he’s still just a little bit off of how to do it. He still hasn’t had a stretch where he’s producing offensive chances like he did last year.

    Sanderson- he had a wicked motor tonight and he’s taken to looking after his own end

    Cogliano – I thought he was lulling a little bit and this was his first real consistent game in awhile. There’s no doubt that he’s gonna be an outscorer, though. the longer he plays the more he’ll learn tendanices of the opp and the more confidence he’ll gain and then he’ll really take a leap

    Brodz – didn’t really notice him

    Reasoner – seems like he has to be a line with two decent guys for him to make anything happen

    Stoll – not good enough

    Horc – liked his effort in his own end but seemed caught up in his own feet in the O zone. I thought that the 14-83-10 line struggled all night with who was gonna be the recovery guy and who was gonna take the slot. I saw times with all three guys below the goal and I saw times where Hemsky was recovering

    Gagner – had some wicked luck on his second assist but the good have known to be lucky as well. the kid just gets it and he’s gonna be a dandy. if Horc decides to stick around past ’09, you can see the way things are shaking. He’ll take the tough min and gagner will get the soft and I’m betting he’ll eventually make some fine hay with it

    Penner – knocked a few guys off the puck and scored a goal. I didn’t think he looked a whole lot better than in previous nights. I think I’m starting to learn his game a little and I can see his limitations so it will always be about the Oilers finding guys to get something out of 27 because the opposite is very unlikely to happen

    Hemsky – has to make up his mind to score; at least at this point

    Torres – it’s a good sign that the first game after his fine he’s still out there looking to hurt people. he admitted it fucked with his game last year after he took williams apart in det but tonight he wasn’t looking back

    gilbert – he looks to be the guy to make the leap into a steady top four dman. he’s becoming more and more physical and I love that. it’s probably a sign that he’s more content with his O game and doesn’t feel the need to break that out because it won’t rust but he knows the defending side is something he needs to assert. he made one great play on 94 when he followed him to the right of Roli and basically rubbed him out. of course he scored too but I had a good feeling about his O game from the first time I saw him. now I see him looking to hit people and I’m pleased as much

    Grebs – chancey as fuck and just a shaky. I don’t think the team has the time or patience that’s needed with him

    roy – not a bad game. I like that he fights, that’s he physical and that he can get his shot on net. I don’t like that his footwork and reaction time in his own end isn’t that great. just a comparison for comparison’s sake but I think gilbert rounds into an all around guy much quicker than roy

    tarnstrom- I don’t think he’s ever been this physical before, has he? Funny enough that we sign him and I’m sure everyone thinks he’s coming here for some PP time and breakout passing and now he’s looking to take people out. The thing about him playing first pairing min tonight: he’s used to taking on big min with shit teams

    Greene – I didn’t like his game. I have liked how his passing’s gotten just a little bit better and how he’ll carry the puck the odd time now just to change it up and that cna change some guys on their heels because if I’m a forechecker and I see him coming, I’m thinking, “I’m gonna hold my ground a little now and try and pick off a bad pass because it’s matt greene.” but he can still get lost when the other team turns up the heat in his zone

    staios: seems like I;ve been reading enough about him that I’m gonna have to watch him more closely. I’ve seen him so much now that I only really notice when he makes a very good or very bad play

    Roli: just really wasn’t good enough tonight. Aarnasson’s goal was nice and that fatso would score on the Oil if the ’99 Hasek was in net and he played shorthanded all night. but I didn’t like that second period goal at all.

    Overall, I liked our PK tonight and hopefully that’s a good sign. We basically didn’t give up a fucking thing in the last 40 and I think that speaks more towards the Avs being a poor road team early on this season. the Oilers had lots of shots and if it were football they’d certainly win the time of possession but it’s not like we were making Budja stand on his head either.

  86. Nelson88 says:


    w/r/t greene and his footwork. he is never going to be nick lidstrom and i think he should be cut some slack as he was forced to play LD last night due to the injuries. that is asking alot of a fairly young guy against a team with some very fleet a foot players.

  87. Dennis says:

    Yeah, I know he was on his off-side and that’s an excuse.

    At least for LAST night, anyway;)

    Something just came to me as well after I thought about 94′s tribute. Did anyone else think it was funny that there was basically ZERO mention of what he did on the ice for the Oilers? They mentioned the International stuff but hardly anything about his on-ice numbers for the Oilers.

    I’m not sure if they have such disregard for what he did or maybe they don’t want fans to think about what it is Penner has to live up to.

  88. dubya says:

    Something just came to me as well after I thought about 94′s tribute. Did anyone else think it was funny that there was basically ZERO mention of what he did on the ice for the Oilers?

    I think they mentioned he was 5th in games played and goals scored for the Oil, and they showed the SJ injury and game winning goal. I think the “Captain Canada” stuff resonates with a lot of people (it certainly does for me, and I think it’s a major reason he’s so respected outside of Alberta) and so the focused on that.

  89. Showerhead says:

    Dennis – re: the video’s focus on Smyth’s off-ice accomplishments, I noticed the same thing. I was really expecting to see more on-ice clips – it seemed out of balance when you have Gator’s video as such a recent comparison.

  90. Dennis says:

    SH, I’m glad that someone else agrees with me on this. The Oilers are a terribly manipulating, controlling and flat-out lying organization and that leads me to always think the worst of them.

    But I really thought I had a point on that Smyth tribute and when I was talking to my buddy on the phone today and he asked about it, I actually brought up the same point as you about how the Smith tribute was more about the on-ice accomplishments.

    Another bush move by the Oilers.

  91. Showerhead says:

    Dennis: “The Oilers are a terribly manipulating, controlling and flat-out lying organization” – not exactly what I said… :P

    But really, the same people would have worked on both videos. They made a simply fantastic one for Smith and one would assume the ideal recipe for Ryan’s would have been more of the same. They were both excellent in the community and both provided enough excellent years of service for there to be enough clips, so there’s an excuse that won’t fly. Was there a direct message from the top? Watching the video and making the observations I made on it are enough for me to ask this question but I haven’t quite answered it yet like you have ;)

  92. danny says:

    Dennis I think there may be a little less conspiracy on the Smyth ‘snub’ than you’re suggesting. I mean what were they going to say?

    Ryan Smyth possibly the 8th best Oiler ever?

    Ryan Smyth with back to back 36 goal seasons?

    Ryan Smyth who set a career record in goals during his rookie season?

    Ryan Smyth, arguably a better outscorer than everyone else the Oilers have had the past 3 or 4 seasons?

    Ryan Smyths most endearing qualities were definitely his heart, try, grit and community involvement I would think.

    They gave a tribute to someone that they argued with for a contract, talked to Jarome Iginla about joining the Flames and subsequently signed with division rival Avs.

    Not sure how thats a mark against the Oilers here. I’m as cynical as the next guy when it comes to comments by the EIG or Laforge, or Prendergas, or even Lowe… but sheesh ;)

  93. Dennis says:

    Well, what about this whole talking to Iginla thing? I mean, if Iginla calls, what’s Smyth supposed to do? He didn’t sign with Cgy so that’s good enough for me

  94. 48_briere_48 says:

    one was for sure he’d probably get a longer ovation then Pronger did when he showed his ugly face

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